Saturday Swim Session: 100’s and 50’s

This swim session is a great way to enhance your speed and threshold pace. This session is perfect for Ironman and Olympic distance triathletes or people doing longer Ocean Swims.

Each week I will load three options up for you to do. Option A is for swimmers who are after a workout less than 2,000 metres. Option B is for swimmers who are after a workout between 2,000 and 3,000m and Option C will be greater than 3,000m.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 6x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 4x 50m on 1/2 T-Time + 10sec;
  • 200m CD (1,700m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 10x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 6x 50m on 1/2 T-Time + 10sec;
  • 200m CD (2,500m)

Option C

  • 800m WU;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 14x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m on 1/2 T-Time + 10sec;
  • 200m CD (3,400m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A), 400m (Option B) or 800m (Option C). During the warm up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim.

Next up are six (Option A) or twelve (Options B and C) repetitions of 50m Drill/Swim, where you do a drill for the first 25m of the repetition and then normal swimming for the next 25m swimming. Feel free to use fins whilst doing the drill/swim set. Do the drills below, twice through for Options B and C, or once through for Option A:

  1. Kick On Side (KOS) left side 
  2. Kick On Side (KOS) right side 
  3. 6/1/6 
  4. 6/3/6
  5. Popov
  6. Broken Arrow

I wrote an article about swimming drills previously. Click here to read and watch it.

Take your fins off prior to the next set, which is eight (Option A), ten (Option B) or fourteen (Option C) repetitions of 100m. Swim these as at a pace that you can maintain for all the reps. After each rep take a 20 second Rest Interval (RI).

The next set involves four (Option A), six (Option B) or eight (Option C) reps of 50m. These are swum on a set interval that is equal to half your T-Time plus ten seconds. Prior to doing this session you will need to know what your T-Time is. Read this article here for the workout to work out your T-Time. For a more detailed explanation on how to employ your T-Times read this article here:

T-Times for Swimming

After your set of 50’s, it’s now time for a 200m Cool Down (CD). Unlike the previous sets which have to be freestyle, the cool down (like the warm up) can be any stroke you wish to swim.  You can also stop and rest after any length.  I encourage you to stop and stretch during the cool down.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to my informative newsletter.

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If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published 12 months ago.

Saturday Swim Session: Time Trials

Coach Ray is the author of the successful 12 Weeks to an Ironman Swim PB – Swim Faster with Smart Training eBook.

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